Like Daddy

I never had to handle two dads in my life. At least, I don’t remember having to.

My parents divorced when I was 18months old. My mom started dating soon after, so there was a man in my life when I was my son’s age. I just called him Johnny. She didn’t start dating her husband until I was 6, so I just called him Donnie. By then I knew the difference. (Yes, their names rhyme.)

Even before I knew the difference, my dad was around. I knew who Daddy was. My son doesn’t have that. My son gets phone calls and pictures and a vague description of what and who Daddy is.

My son calls me Momma. I’ve never been Mommy, but most other kids call their mothers that. So at first he was a bit confused; when other people would call me his Mommy he would argue with them that I was, in fact, Momma. Now he’s starting to understand.

The other day, as Jack and I were putting him to bed, Holden was being playful and looked up and me and said, “Momma, you’re like Mommy!” I told him yes, I was.

Then he looked at Jack and said, “Jack, you’re like Daddy!”

At first we were both kind of stuck, we didn’t know what to say. So we both just said no. Then Holden repeated himself.

I said, “He’s like Daddy, but he’s not Daddy.” At the same time, Jack said, “No baby, I’m Jack. I’m just your friend.”

Holden seemed incredibly upset by this. He made a scowling face and told me, “Momma, Jack says he’s just my friend!” We quickly changed the subject.

Now I don’t know what to do. Because we’re both right — Jack is just Holden’s friend. And Momma’s friend. And a man who happens to be like a Daddy.

Sadly, I don’t think my son is old enough yet to understand the difference.

There’s a fine line when it comes to other people in children’s lives. I know that Nate feels threatened by Jack’s presence, but he also wants the best for his son. I know that Jack feels like a father to Holden, but he also wants to respect Nate. I want, more than anything, for my son to know and love his true father, but I also don’t want to disregard the important role Jack plays in Holden’s life.

So what does one do when the other parent is in prison? Well, we’ve already decided to tell Holden the truth from the beginning. Daddy is in jail. What jail is, well, we’ll tackle that when he’s old enough to understand. But what about the Who is Daddy? question, and where does that leave Jack?

I don’t know these answers yet. I’m still trying to work them out myself. But I can say that it’s hard — it’s very difficult to give my son everything he needs while at the same time not stepping on any toes.

I can say that Holden will know that Daddy loves him very, very much and would be here if he could.

I can say that Holden will have Jack in his life forever, and Jack will do father/son things with him.

I can say that I will never, ever belittle either of them or their roles, because they’re both such important parts of my son’s life.

As for the important questions, well, I can’t say what clever concoction I will tell my boy; I can only say it will be fueled by love, for all parties involved.



I hated him once.

I thought I got over it. I thought.

Every time I see him I’m riddled with anxiety and despair.

Maybe he’s the cause of some of my problems. Maybe.

I hate him again.

For different reasons. Or maybe the same.

I can’t hunt or fish or sleep without his face appearing, without his underwear appearing, without his hand lingering too close.

I want to think of something remarkable to say — to explain the pain, to help others, to get it all out and make you understand. The words don’t come.

I think it’s out of my mind and then a night like this. A night like so many others, when I’m minding my own business and all of a sudden he’s there. Like he was so many other times. He’s running his hands down my arms and across my skin and I have goosebumps and I play it off like he’s just drunk, like I’m just drunk, like it will all go away.

It doesn’t go away.

I want to ask for an apology but I don’t want to upset you any more than he’s already done.

So I sit and I write and I wait for the words to come, the words that will explain what he’s done and what it’s done to me and what it will undoubtedly do to you.

Maybe he will stop. Maybe he will make you happy again and he will stop torturing me in my dreams and maybe everything will be okay. Maybe therapy will help and maybe I’ll get over it, like everyone has told me to do for so long. Maybe I’ll stop hating him again.

Maybe not.

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If I’m Lost, What is She?

My mom’s going to Florida. Tomorrow. She doesn’t know how long she’s going to be gone; she might stay the whole winter.

She’s going through a lot right now, and this is probably exactly what she needs. But I’m hurt. I’m saddened. I’m saddened that her life has gotten to this point and I’m saddened that I’m losing my best friend, for however long, and I’m saddened that my son isn’t going to be able to see his grandmother for however long.

I don’t know where this post is going, but I need to write something.

This is all my stepfather’s fault. I want to blame him, and I do blame him, because he is to blame. I’m not holding back and even trying to be understanding. The hate I once had for him because of what he did to me, that I worked so fucking hard to get over, is now back, but this time because of what he’s doing to her.

I once told him, long ago while we were drunk and he was hitting on me, that I would cut his dick off if he ever hurt her. The pain has gone on for too long now and it might be time for me to make good on my word. Not really, but if I could, I’m to the point where I probably would.

My plan was to have them take my son if anything ever happened to me. Now who will?

My plan was to be by my mother’s side until I died, because I’m dying first because we agreed. Now who’s side will I stand by?

She said she’s sorry. She shouldn’t have to apologize for anything. This shouldn’t be happening.

I want to cry but I can’t. I’m lost. I can’t even imagine how she feels.

She should know that she is loved, more than immensely. She is perfect.

Tempest Rose Susan Crowe

Confession: I’ve Been Telling the Truth

People have become so conditioned to keeping important shit bottled inside that they now hesitate to believe anyone who talks openly about their bad experiences.

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My stepdad used to sleepwalk into my room, naked, and sleep in my bed when I was little. I mention it a lot. It kinda screwed me up.

My stepdad also used to attempt to have sex with me when I was a teenager. I explode and scream the truth at him whenever we get in a fight. I try to talk to my friends about it. It did screw me up.

But because I talk about it, the people closest to me have started to overlook it.

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